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JOHN NEWTON'S TABLE-TALK.
struck with his reply, “ Yes, I dare say they and desire it, that I could not but hope the are; I believe they are.” Poor man! he had good Spirit was indeed working on his mind. never read them, and never would. As his I said before he was as teachable as a little time seemed likely to be short, I confined my child, and I could not but believe that the same instructions to the three great points—man's Spirit which imparted a teachable mind, comruin by sin; redemption by Christ Jesus; and municated understanding to the simple. regeneration by the power of the Holy Ghost. He looked for my visits more than for his
His understanding was opened much more necessary food or medicine, and I was conrapidly than I had expected. He felt himself a strained to witness the most unequivocal and sinner, and that all about him was defiled; he unbounded evidence of love in one to whom, bowed to the doctrine that man is born in sin, before, I should scarcely have given credit for and that by nature he was evil, and only evil; natural affection. Such wonders grace can do! he felt the truth of God which declares, “ Cursed During the last interview I had with him, I is every one that continueth not in all things took some pains to obtain satisfaction as to his written in the Book of the Law to do them,” and views and feelings. I mentioned to him the that he was under that curse—“ that the wages dying testimony of an aged Christian : " I know of sin is death,” and that his sins deserved all in whom I have believed,” &c. I explained the wrath which God bad threatened. When that passage to him, and endeavoured to set I told him that God had addressed sinners in before him the near approach of that hour in such language as this: “ Come now and let us which his soul would be separate from the body, reason together, saith the Lord,” &c.; and again, and stand before the judgment-seat. After a that he had said, “As I live, saith the Lord, I short time I said, “ Now suppose you were just have no pleasure in the death of him that dying, in full possession of your reason, and dieth,” &c.; he was filled with admiration. with those views of the value of your never“How good! how merciful!” he exclaimed. dying soul, and the unutterable importance of “Ah!" I said, “ you did not know what precious trusting it in safe hands. You are anxious to things the Bible contained.” “O no,” he said, leave your earthly property in safe hands, but “I never desired to read before, but now I what is that compared with your soul ? Do you grieve that I did not learn to read. I might know any being to whom, if dying, you could have read these good things myself.” I then commit your soul ?" With an expression and spoke to him of the person, glory, and sufferings manner which spoke far more forcibly than of the Lord Jesus, and that this wonderful and words, he replied, “ To the Lord Jesus Christ.” glorious person died for sinners. “O what pre- “ Yes,” I said, “ take fast hold of that; and recious blood must that be which he shed! This member the words of the dying martyr: ‘Lord Wood cleanseth from all sin. Can you trust in Jesus, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”” He Christ's blood to redeem your soul?” “Yes; I looked up towards heaven and said, “Lord hope I can.” I said, “ If you believe-—' he that Jesus, into thy hands I commit my spirit.” I believeth shall be saved. Do you understand said, “Farewell! I am going from home for a few what faith is !” I found he was not prepared to days, and perhaps I may never see you again ; answer, and therefore said, “Just now I men- but I shall think of you when absent, and comtioned to you, “ As I live, saith the Lord, I have mit you to the Lord Jesus, and though you will no pleasure in the death of a sinner,' &c.,-you not see me, Jesus will be near, and he alone can think that is in the Bible ?” “O! yes; I am help, and save, and bless you.” He expressed sure it is.” “ But you cannot read—how can you his thankfulness for my attention to him, and be sure ! “ You told me so, and I am sure you said he never was happy before he knew these would not deceive me.” “ Then," I replied, things. On my return, I found he was gone " you believe I speak the truth: that is faith in into eternity; that the few days he lived after me; but the great point of that text is, “As I my departure, he had been calm and resigned; live, saith the Lord.' To believe what God speaks, and that he held fast hold of that truth,“ Lord! is faith in God; and that alone can relieve you. Jesus, into thy hands I commit my spirit,” and God has said that there is no hope for any sin that these were almost his last words. ner out of Christ, but that every sinner may O blessed Gospel! that can thus suit the desbe saved by casting the burden of his sins on perate condition of a poor guilty creature. 0 Christ. When you, seeing that you cannot blessed power of the Spirit! which can rise save yourself, flee to Christ, and trust wholly above all obstacles, and convey life and light, to him for salvation, you believe on him.” and peace and joy, to a ruined, guilty, ignorant, I asked him if he had ever heard that declara- miserable man! tion of the Lord Jesus, “Ye must be born again ; except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God ?" He did not
JOHN NEWTON'S TABLE-TALK. know that he had. “ Yet this is as true as the I TRIED to make crooked things straight, till I have promises." I endeavoured to show the nature made these knuckles sore, and now I must leave it to and necessity of this change, and the Lord was the Lord. pleased to give him so quickly to understand If I want a man to fly, I must lend him wings; and
if I would successfully enforce moral duties, I must So of the tender, weeping child is made the callous, advance Evangelical motives.
heartless man-of the all-believing child, the speerI should have thought mowers very idle people, ing sceptic of the beautiful and modest, the shamebut they work while they whet their scythes. So less and abandoned; and this is what the world does
for the little one. devotedness to God, whether it mows or whets its There was a time when the Divine One stood on scythe, still goes on with its work.
earth, and little children sought to draw near to him. My course of study, like that of the surgeon, has But harsh human beings stood between him and principally consisted in walking in the hospital. them, forbidding their approach. Ah! has it not My principal method of defeating heresy, is that been always so? Do not even we, with our hard and
unsubdued feelings—our worldly and unscriptural of establishing the truth. One proposes to fill a habits and maxims-stand like a dark screen between bushel with tares; now, if I can fill it first with
our little child and its Saviour, and keep, even from wheat, I will defy his attempts.
the choice bud of our hearts, the sweet radiance A Christian in the world is like a man who has a which might unfold it for paradise ? “Suffer little long intimacy with one who, at length, he finds out was
children to come unto me, and forbid them not," the murderer of his father, and the intimacy ceases.
is still the voice of the Son of God; but the cold
world still closes around and forbids. When of old, We are surprised at the fall of a famous professor; the disciples would question their Lord of the higher but in the sight of God that man was gone before mysteries of his kingdom, he took a little child and it is only we that have now discovered it.
set him in the midst, as a sign of him who should be The devil told a lie when he said, “All these things greatest in heaven. That gentle teacher still remains are mine, and to whomsoever I will shall I give them.”
to us. By every hearth and fire-side, Jesus still sets
the little child in the midst of us ! For if he had the disposal of preferments, you and I,
Wouldst thou know, Oparent, what is that brother C—, should soon be dignitaries.
faith which unlocks heaven! Go not to wrangling 1 If an angel were sent to find the most perfect man, polemics, but draw to thy bosom thy little one, and he would probably not find him composing a body of read in that clear, trusting eye the lessons of eternal | divinity, but perhaps a cripple in the poor-house, and all is done! Blessed shalt thou be, indeed—“ a whom the parish wish dead, but humbled before little child shall lead thee !" God by far lower thoughts of himself than others think of him.
PEACE AT HOME. If two angels came down from heaven to execute a divine command, and one was appointed to conduct It is just as possible to keep a calm house as a clean an empire, and another to sweep a street, they would house, a cheerful house as a warm house, an orderly feel no inclination to change employments.
house as a furnished house, if the heads set them
selves to do so. I have many books that I cannot sit down to read.
Where is the difficulty of consultThey are indeed good and sound, but, like halfpence, ing each other's weaknesses, as well as each other's there goes a great quantity to little amount. There wants; each other's tempers, as well as each other's are silver books, and a few golden books, but I have health; each other's comfort, as well as each other's
character ? Oh! it is by leaving the peace at home one book worth more than all, called the Bible; and that is a book of bank notes.
to chance, instead of pursuing it by system, that so many houses are unhappy. It deserves notice, also,
that almost any one can be courteous and forbearing, CHILDREN-THE LESSONS WHICH THEY and patient in a neighbour's house. If anything go TEACH.
wrong, or be out of time, or disagreeable there, it is Poor children! they bring and teach us, human be made the best of, the worst; even efforts are ings, more good than they get in return! How often made to excuse it, and to show that it is not felt; or, does the infant, with its soft cheek and helpless hand, if felt, it is attributed to accident, not to design: awaken a mother from worldliness and egotism to a whole world of a new and higher feeling! How and this is not only easy, but natural, in the house of often does the mother repay this, by doing her best a friend. I will not, therefore, believe that what is to wipe off, even before the time, the dew and fresh so natural in the house of another is impossible at simplicity of childhood, and make her daughter too home, but maintain, without fear, that all the coursoon a woman of the world, as she has been. The hardened heart of the worldly man is un
tesies of social life may be upheld in domestic societys. locked by the guileless tones and simple caresses of A husband, as willing to be pleased at home, and as his son; but he repays it in time, by imparting to his anxious to please as in his neighbour's house, and a boy all the crooked tricks, and hard ways, and cal- wife, as intent on making things comfortable every lous maxims which have undone himself.
day to her family, as on set days to her guests, could Go to the jail, to the penitentiary, and find there not fail to make their own home happy. Let us the wretch most sullen, brutal, and hardened-then look at your infant son. Such as he is to you, such
not evade the point of these remarks by recurring to to some mother was this man. That hard hand was
the maxim about allowances for temper. It is worse soft and delicate—that rough voice was tender and than folly to refer to our temper, unless we could lisping-fond eyes followed him as he played-and prove that ever gained anything good by he was rocked and cradled as something holy. There giving way to it. Fits of ill humour punish us quite was a time when his heart, soft and unworn, might
as much, if not more, than those they are vented have opened to questionings of God, and Jesus, and been sealed with the seal of Heaven. But harsh
upon; and it actually requires more effort, and inflicts hands seized it, fierce goblin lineaments were im- more pain to give them up, than would be requisite pressed upon it, and all is over with him for ever! to avoid them.-Philip.
“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and be must be no alliance, no half-measures, no truce tween thy seed and her seed."--Gen, iii. 15.
with the world. There must be open warfare. CHRIST and the world are opposites. They are Christ expects this from you. He expects you not merely different, but they are as utterly to come out of the world.—2 Cor. vi. 17. He opposed to each other as day is to night expects you to be quite different froin the --as heaven is to hell. The one presents world.-Rom. xii. 2. He expects you to be a perfect and irreconcilable contrast to the crucified to the world.—Gal. vi. 14. He expects other. “What fellowship hath righteousness you to oppose the world.- James iv. 4. He exwith unrighteousness ? and what communion pects you to testify against the world. - John liath light with darkness ? and what concord vii. 7. He expects you to overcome the world. hath Christ with Belial !”_2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. - 1 John v. 4. He expects you to be, in all All
, then, who belong to Christ must be totally things, exactly what he himself was in the opposed to those who belong to the world. world.–1 John iv. 17. These things Christ They are not only different from the men of the expects from all who are called by his name. world, but they are utterly opposed to them; He expects that you will always, on all occathey form a contrast so marked and so decided, sions, and in all society, take his side, not the that any union between the two is impossible. world's. And as Christ and the world are
Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye enemies, you must choose a side. You canare of this world; I am not of this world.”— not remain silent--you cannot remain neutral. John vüi. 23. “We know that we are of God, Wherever your Saviour went, he always testiand the whole world lieth in wickedness.”— fied for his Father, and he expects you to do 1 John v. 19. Their principles are not the the same for him. Followers of the Lamb,
same, their motives are not the same, their feel- will ye not do this? Will ye shrink from this ? ings are not the same, their prospects are not | Will ye be ashamed of the cross-afraid to the same, their tastes are not the same, their | avow your Master ? What! Is the world's habits are not the same, their joys and sorrows friendship so precious, that for it you would be are not the same, their hopes and fears are not content to lose the friendship of your beloved the same !-all, all are different. As the feel. Lord ? What! Are the world's smiles so attracings, the tastes, the joys of angels, are different tive, that for them you can forego the smile from those of devils; so are the feelings, the of your Father? Are the world's pleasures so tastes, the joys of the saints, different from those sweet, its glories so dazzling, that for them of the men of this world. The prince of this you would fing away the joys of the kingdom world and his subjects are at one. “ Ye are of the glories of the unfading crown? your father the devil, and the lusts of your father But what is the world of which we speak, ve will do." --John viii. 44. It follows, then, that and of which so much is spoken in Scripture ? if the world be at one with Satan, it must be It is called by various names. It is called the the enemy of Christ and of all that are his. It seed of the serpent—the children of the devil is of great importance to fix this truth in the children of wrath; in short, it is composed of inind, as many, if not all, of the mistakes of all unconverted men. All who are not saints, men on the subject of conformity to the world holy ones, Christ's flock, Christ's disciples, the liave arisen from overlooking the impassable elect—all who are not born again, belong to the distinction, the irreconcilable contrast, between world. It is, then, against the principles, the Christ and the world, as well as between all habits, the pleasures, the lusts, the sins of these, who are Christ's and all who belong to the that we are to testify. The “course of this world.
world,” as the apostle calls it, we are to re- || If, then, ye are on Christ's side, you must nounce, and the life and conversation of all consider that your posture is one of entire oppo- who walk according to that course we are to sition to the world. You must remember that condemn. We are to keep ourselves unspotted there must be no compromise and no conceal from the world--to hate even the garments inent of your opposition to the world. There spotted by the fiesli; we are not to touch the
unclean thing, lest thereby we should be our ruin souls has been fearfully seconded. And selves defiled, and countenance sinners in their by whom? By one who names the name of sin. Even if we get no harm ourselves, yet if Christ. And there is yet worse than this. we, by partaking, encourage a sinner to go on Satan has sometimes persuaded not only private in any amusement which, however innocent in Christians, but ministers of the Gospel, to sit down itself, is yet leading him to neglect higher by the world's side, and take part in its pleaconcerns, then that is sin to us, and we are, in sures. This is the consummation of his hellish some measure, guilty of a fellow-sinner's blood. craft. A minister of Christ going to the theatre,
But let us speak more at large of the world's attending balls, or sitting down to cards with amusements and pleasures. They are such as the world, against whom he is called to testify! suit the tastes of carnal, unconverted men. What would an apostle say to this! For any And what would we think of a Christian who Christian, or Christian minister, to countenance had any sympathy in these tastes ? Is not the the world in that which is leading them away fact of a man's relishing the world's pleasures from God, is to share in their sin and to be a sufficient proof that he belongs to the world, guilty of their blood. and that he is no Christian! Is not the fact of But is it wrong to engage in a thing which a man's having a taste for the theatre, or cards, is not of itself decidedly sinful? In answer, or balls, a sufficient proof that his tastes are we would say, that even admitting that some those of the world, and not those of Christ, of these amusements are not actually in thenithat he is, in truth, an unconverted man, or, at selves sinful, yet the best, a miserable backslider ? But it is 1. A thing which is harmless in itself, besaid they are innocent amusements. Innocent ! comes sinful when it excludes things of greater And will a man, calling himself a Christian, moment, and more immediate concern. The dare to say that he will spend hours, ay, even world's pleasures do this, and are, therefore, to one hour, in that of which all that can be said be condemned. is, that it is innocent! Dare a Christian do 2. A thing may (not only be harmless, but anything which is not profitable, in some way, even lawful, and yet we may have no time for either to himself or to others? Innocent! it. Other things may have a stronger claim These amusements are just Satan's wiles to upon our time. When our time is limited, we lead souls to forget eternity. Is it not an are not to consider what is merely lawful, but awful truth that, at this moment, thousands what is of most importance. The concerns of and tens of thousands of souls are, by these our souls must, therefore, occupy our first atvery amusements, led luring on to perdition, tention. Till they are fully settled, we are not blinded to their immortal welfare? Inno- at liberty to attend to any things whose only cent! They are the means employed for ex- claim is that they are harmless. It is a posi. pelling God from the affections, and keeping tive sin to engross our attention with lower him out of the soul. Are not these pleasures, things, while higher things are unsettled. It innocent as they may be called, just the ers is, therefore, a positive sin, in any one, to which Satan strews in the sinner's path to adorn follow the world's pleasures till he has made the way to hell! What a handle Satan does sure of the salvation of his soul. This conmake of the word innocent !-thereby showing sideration supersedes much vain arguing about us that it is in the apparent innocence of these the fancied innocence of worldly pleasures. A amusements that the deadly poison lies. Were Christian has no time for it, even had he the they openly noxious, they would not really be taste. And if a Christian has no time for it, how so pernicious and so fatal. The seeming harm- much less has a man of the world—an unpardonlessness is the fatality of the spell !
ed sinner! In no case does Satan so completely triumph 3. Any amusement which is decidedly the as when he can get professing Christians to world's amusement, ought to be avoided by a countenance the world in their amusements. Christian. Even if it were harmless, even if Then the poor, deluded world is hopelessly he had time for it, yet the fact of its being the ensnared. Its only hope was, that Christians world's favourite amusement is enough to make would lift np their voice against its vanities, a Christian willing to forego it. Card-playing and thereby save it from ruin. Satan's fear and dancing are instances of this. Even were was, that some bold Christian voice would sound they innocent, yet since the world has approan alarm, and mar his deadly plot. But now priated them, a saint ought not to indulge in his triumph is complete! His endeavour to them. Touch not the unclean thing. Love
THE PROFLIGATE'S DREAM.
A TRUE NARRATIVE.
not the world, neither the things of the world. permitted, if not ordained, by“ Him in whom we Garments spotted by the flesh are to be hated. live, and move, and have our being ?”
These things may be helpful in settling the Whether my readers shall think these ideas minds of some who are too apt, from circum. confirmed or otherwise by the following dream, stances, to be led away from their stedfastness care, since it is not for the purpose of support
I do not know-nor, in very truth, do I much and circumspection. In these days we need ing any preconceived theory that I relate it “to walk in wisdom towards them that are here, but merely as a most uncommon instance without”-we need to manifest to all around of continuity of purpose and of imagery in a what a Christian really is.
dream, and a graphic force of delineation, that There is too little tenderness of conscience- might almost suit it for the subject of a drama; there is too much conformity to the world, and let my readers rest assured that the dream there is too little close walking with God—there dreamer's relatives are among the most wealthy
was dreamt, and that the descendants of the is too much compromise of our principles as
and respected families in Glasgow. saints; hence the necessity for being called upon About ninety years ago, there was in Glasto “watch and to keep our garments.” And it gow a club of gentlemen of the first rank in that may be, that the Spirit may bless these few city, for the meetings of which card-playing abrupt remarks for leading some to ask if they was the ostensible cause and purpose; but the are really living separate from the world—if members of which were distinguished by such
a fearless and boundless excess of profligacy, they are really acting and speaking as witnesses
especially in the orgies of this Club, as to obtain for Christ before a crooked and perverse gene- for it the cognomen of “ The Hell Club.” They 1 ration.
gloried in the name they had given or acquired for themselves, and nothing that the most un
restrained licentiousness could do to merit it THE PROFLIGATE'S DREAM.*
was left untried.
Whether the aggregate of vice be greater or
less in the present age than in the one gone by, What are dreams ? To this question, so often I am not prepared to decide; but of this I ain so earnestly asked, there never yet has, most certain, that among the upper and middle ranks probably never will be, a satisfactory answer
of society, it is forced to wear a more decorous given. "It is one which seems most particularly disguise; for assuredly, in this our day, habitual to rouse the inquisititeness of human nature, and drunkenness and shameless license dare not has, accordingly, drawn forth from a thousand prank themselves forth in the eyes of all be. minds a thousand speculations and hypotheses. holders, as if they thought they derived a Some clever and ingenious—many more inanely glorious distinction from conduct too degradsilly than ever was dream of a half-wakened ing for the brute creation. Still less would idiot. To these I have no intention of adding one, the best society—that of cultivated, refined,
such men be now unhesitatingly received into good or bad. I am content to observe, that and virtuous women--as if they were indeed while Judgment sleeps, Imagination wakes; and the “fine fellows” they chose to call themrelieved from the surveillance of her staid sister, selves. she revels amidst the inexhaustible stores of
Perhaps it may be that vices--those diseases ideas which she finds in the mind; and seizing of the soul-run a round, like the diseases of these in heterogeneous handfuls, she thrusts the body; and some rage with virulence in one them into her kaleidoscope, and then forces the 1 helpless and unresisting soul to gaze at the age or period, and die away only to give place
to others that succeed to their devastating presometimes gorgeous and bewitching, some- valence and energy. times hideous and appalling, scenery she has But I have wandered from the Club. Besides thus created.
their nightly or weekly meetings, they held a Who can wonder if, amidst the interminable grand annual Saturnalia, at which each memcombinations thus produced, a little truth ber endeavoured to “outdo all his former outshould soinetimes mingle? or if, in the endless doings” in the united forms of drunkenness, wheelings of the phantasmagoria, they should blasphemy, and unbridled license. Of all who occasionally assume the attitude of the future, shone on these occasions, none shone half so as well as of the past ? Nay, which of us, whose brilliant as Archibald Boyle. But, alas! the mental vision is bounded to each successive light that dazzled in him was not “light from point of our own existence, shall venture to as- heaven," but from that dread abode which sert, that these combinations are not at times gave name and energy to the vile association * This most remarkable narrative, from the pen of a lady
destined to prove his ruin-ruin for time and *hose contributions have enriched several periodicals, wa's eternity! | published some years ago, and, we have reason to believe, Archibald Boyle had been at one time a has, in several instances, been blessed to the awakening of hardened sceptics.
youth of the richest promise-possessed of the